Senior Software Developer
Peter loved playing games on his computer when he was younger, and that helped him figure out that IT was the career for him. “I thought I was going to go into game design. But I reflected on it and I thought I could put my skills to better use – working here means that I’m giving back, helping researchers to gain new insights into human health.”
Peter works at the Sanger Institute, a world-famous research centre that advances early science with the hope of creating new ideas for human medicine. The software development team that Peter is a part of provides support for the whole Institute.
“It’s a really diverse job – because we are quite a small team we all need to be able to work on everything that comes through, which is great.”
“Our work is based on tickets from users around the Institute – they send through what they want to see in their IT and we pick them up. After you’ve picked one then you normally go speak to the user, see what it is they really need. You can never quite know exactly what they’re after until you’ve asked the right questions – so you need really good communication skills! Then you’ll sit down and figure out the best way to get what they need done.”
Since arriving at the Institute, Peter has progressed fast, being promoted to Senior Software Developer in just three years. Now he’s more involved in the management of the team, including mentoring a undergraduate placement student.
“People think you’re going to be shut in a cubicle all day not speaking to anyone, but it’s not like that. You have lots of meetings, stand-up catch ups with the team, get around whiteboards and plan things out – so if you know you like working in teams then it’s a really good job.”
So what does Peter think you need to work in software? “I think you need to be creative and eager – you need to be able to get really stuck into a task, start thinking ‘How could I potentially solve this? What would happen if I tweak this, would it change this?’ - that’s the most important thing.”
Peter's career pathway
- 2011 Finished A-levels and left school. Went to study for a degree in Computer Vision, Games and Graphics at Aberystwyth University
- 2012 Left after a year and moved back to Cambridgeshire to start studying Computer Science at Lincoln University
- 2015 Finished his degree at Lincoln and joined the Sanger Institute as a Software Developer
- 2018 Promoted to Senior Software Developer
“The Sanger Institute pledges action to the Technician Commitment to tackle the key challenges affecting technical staff. Technicians provide a diverse range of expertise, underpinning all science and technology activities across the Sanger Institute. All of us at the Sanger Institute recognise the vital role that our technicians play to our organisation's success, and we are committed to improving the recognition of technicians within our Institute and beyond.”
Julia Wilson, Associate Director, Sanger Institute
To read more about technician roles at Sanger Institute please click here.